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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • Toyota canada just released a echo hatchback, for the canadian market. It looks really cool. Check out their website
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
  • We won't be getting it. :-(
  • Thanks for the advice, but since I already bought an Si, I'll probably be skipping it. However, that said, if I win $6500 in the lottery, I might have to get one.
  • To save on the fuel taxi driver's start of in 2nd gear. Many modern luxery cars also start of in 2nd gear in auto transmission.
  • they lose in early clutch replacement I'll bet. If it's a manual, they will likely have to slip the clutch longer to get rolling without stalling the engine.

    That toyota hatch looks interesting. What is there starting price.
  • That's where the experience comes in. These driver are really good with standerd, they don't even use the clutch once the car is moving to shift up or shift down.

    The toyota hatchback price is not out yet, I suspect around $15000cdn.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    Guess which two low-end car makers join Acura and Subaru as the only automakers that have all of their vehicles from 1995-2002 rated at least "Average" by Consumer Reports in predicted reliability (that is, for vehicles with enough data to be rated)?

    Hyundai and Toyota.

    This is particularly impressive for Toyota, given that they had 17 models in the ratings and just 3 "Average" marks across all models and all years. But not a bad showing by Hyundai, which was singled out by CR along with the Japanese brands as among the best in reliability for 2002 models. Those who a couple of years ago doubted whether the Koreans would ever catch up to the Japanese in quality--it seems to be happening faster than most people expected.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    "Those who a couple of years ago doubted whether the Koreans would ever catch up to the Japanese in quality--it seems to be happening faster than most people expected."

    And as far as low-end cars go, it seems that GM picked a good time to make an all-new 2004 Cavalier (if the rumors I heard are true) - as it stands now, if I had to buy a cheap car, I wonder what I would chose:

    Cavalier Coupe (not Z24)
    Accent GSi

    Currently 2001 Protege ES
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    Well, IMO the Cavalier is more car than the Accent, in several respects especially performance, but I would not want to own one. The interior quality is abysmal, the seats are uncomfortable to me, and it does not have the utility of a hatchback. Also the Accent has a superior warranty. I'd probably go with the base Accent hatch since there's no advantage in power for the GSi and a big difference in price. If I were going to buy a GSi, I'd probably spend a little more and get a base model Elantra GT hatchback, with tons more features and more utility.

    I haven't heard anything about a really all-new Cavalier for 2004. What I have heard is that there will be an all-new Malibu this fall.

    Also, it's misleading I think for GM to advertise the 2003 Cavalier as "all-new" (just as it's misleading for Hyundai dealers to advertise 2003 Accents as "all-new"). There is a new engine (and a good one from all indications) and tweaked front and rear fascias, but most of the car dates back to the last major redesign that debuted in 1994--which means this is a car that was designed ten years ago.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Manufacturers have this tendency to declare cars "redesigned" when they change the lights' shape and "all new" when they make a small technical component change.

    On the other hand, the all new Mazda6 is true, cuz it's well... all new :)

  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    You can regularly find new Accents in the $6-7000 range in Los Angeles, nothing else, not even Rios tend to dip that low. I don't own one (02 Si), but you can't possibly do any better for that price.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    Yep, that's a nice little car for $7000. I would have loved to have had a car like that when I was a kid (had a '66 Dodge Coronet instead). I've seen the base hatchbacks advertised in the Twin Cities for $6995. Rios are starting for well under $7000 now with the Kia loyalty discount.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    Well, I wouldn't own a Kia just to trade in for the discount. Plus, I think the Accent has much nicer styling than the Rio.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    The first post I read when I came back was one from Backy posted in November. In the post, he asked me how I liked my test drive of the Elantra. The answer is that I did not like it. I took a test drive of the GT and I found the seat extremely hard and uncomfortable.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Our auto show was held recently and I got to see the new Ion. I felt it had a funny rear end. What was even funnier was the new Maxima was on display and it has the same bobtail styling as the Ion.

    Has anyone else heard about the fact that when the Protege is redone that the Protege name will be going bye bye? The new name will be the 3. If true, this makes sense given the Protege was a redo of the 323 and the fact that the 626 became the 6 when it was redesigned.

    I got a look at the Malibu and it is a nice looking car. The Malibu Maxx will be built at the local GM plant.

    I know it is not a low end car, but the car that had me drooling the most was the Chrysler Crossfire. For those who don't know, it is a two seater coupe based on the Mercedes SLK roadster. It is a lot smaller than I thought.

    Coming up second in the drool department was the Jeep Varsity concept. This was a very tough looking sedan. Ugly enough to be desirable. If Jeep were to bring it out when it came time to replace the Echo, I would give it a look.

    Had a nice time at the Hyundai display. My roommate won a picnic cooler/bag type of thing.

    One thing I did not like was that more and more cars seemed to have that funny smell that I still vividly remember only Hyundai and Kias having a few years ago.

    I got my first look at an Echo with the optional 15 inch wheels. My roommate could not see any difference, but I could. I like the front end styling of my Echo better, but I like the rear end styling of the new Echo better.

    Sorry for the rambling post. Hope I did not bore anybody too badly.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    I read recently that Renault is thinking of having Nissan revive the Datsun name. One guess as to why. The reason was not given in what I read, but I bet it is to bring out a low end car or cars and to position the Sentra higher in the automotive food chain.

    GM is making a similar move in bringing a GMDAT car over so that they can position the Cavalier higher.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    That begs the question, if I have to pay over $15k for a stripped 3 (whatever that means, maybe even the base model will be well-equipped), why not pony up a little more and get a 6 (which is twice as good, by the numbers)?

    BTW, I noticed in the pix that the Murano has a baby brother!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    Maybe you need a softer butt, Major. ;-) General consensus by C/D, CR et. al. is that the Elantra has one of the best driver's seats in the compact class. The seat are a little firmer than in some cars, but in Teutonic tradition they offer great support and comfort for the long haul. I always relish coming back home from out of town, drivng some rental car, so I can slip back into my Elantra's super-comfy driver's seat. The seat adjusters are top-notch (C/D called them the best in the industry). If you're used to squishier buckets, the Elantra's seats may take awhile to get used to though.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Isn't Car And Driver the magazine that touted the Focus for its reliability?
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    My behind is just fine, thank you. It matches my hard head. ; )
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,613
    headlights and realign them so the poor thing can see down the road better. Tee-hee-hee...just kidding. I just saw the commercial where the woman asks for this feature and then asks "How much is it?" The salesman answers "$12,094". What if I want "this or that, then how much would it be....". Same answer, "12,094," reminded me how much you get for how little money for an Elantra. I'm sure seeing a lot of Elantra GT's over here on the West Coast(Seattle area). Low resale values are not slowing down sales for either Kia's or Hyundai's. Not very much anyway.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    There was an interesting Letter to the Editor in C/D recently where the writer complained about the Focus winning C/D's 10Best award, again, despite all of its recalls and NHTSA safety actions. The response from the Editors was, to paraphrase, we don't count reliability when we name the 10Best cars. Then they went through the litany of all the recalls the Focus has had, and concluded that wasn't too bad a record. Yep, yep yep yep yep...

    BTW Major, besides the hard seat, how did you like your test of the Elantra? Our local auto show started yesterday, but I was camping with Boy Scouts all weekend so I'll have to wait awhile to check out all the beautiful, shiny, precious... ohhhh... precious! Precious! Hmm, maybe I've watched Lord of the Rings too often...
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Nah, you [Backy] have been reading too many posts from Iluv. ; )

    My GT test drive has been sometime ago so most of the details have faded. The seat being so bad (in my opinion) makes it stand out.

    About auto shows, the more I read the more I want to attend next year's show in Detroit.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I'm very fond of my Elantra, but this looks like it hits new levels. Keep bringing on those hatches. Speaking of hatches, it's interesting to note that Kia is now marketing the Rio Cinco as a hatch on its webpage. I think it was considered a hatch all along in most places other than the U.S.
  • I can't wait for the 3&5 door hatches to arrive, but others have said we'll have to wait. The sedan and wagon are going to be introduced first. Bummer. I might postpone my interest in the 6 hatch for this smaller hatch.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    OK, technically the Scions are hatchbacks and not sedans, so shoot me. I just read's First Drive of the Scion xA and xB (I think they actually drove just the xB) and was amazed at the content that Toyota is putting into the cars for the money. The xA will MSRP at about $13,000 US including destination charge, and that includes A/C, power, ABS, and a 6-speaker Pioneer CD. That's less than a comparably equipped Elantra or Spectra, and even with discounting it won't cost that much more (Scion will have Saturn-like pricing policy according to Edmunds). When people can buy cars like the Scions for $13-14k with a lot of equipment and utility, with no haggling needed, and with Toyota quality, it raises two questions in my mind: 1) who will buy ECHOes, or even Corollas; and 2) what will happen to Hyundai's attempt to bump up the prices on their low-end cars? I guess there will be those people who don't want a five-door, and personally I can't stand the looks of the xB (with the "B" meaning "Box" I guess), but I think these Scions and the upcoming Honda Jazz are going to change the low-end market in a big way. Unfortunately, they won't come to my part of the country until mid-2004.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    While I think the Scion's price, equipment level, and no haggle policy is revolutionary and a good idea, it wouldn't make me want to buy one. Both cars are unattractive, inside and out. I would still buy a more expensive Corolla over the Scion or even a similarly priced Hyundai. Now, if Toyota would utiliize this strategy on their own cars, they would be unstoppable.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    The Corolla and xA are two completely different vehicles. I think both have their markets, albeit the xA a much smaller one.
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